The Class Act

As you know, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the passage of healthcare reform earlier this year.  Lost in all the shouting were some of the important details of the law and how it might impact assisted living and residential care.  One component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that has the potential to impact providers is the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act.

The CLASS Act is a voluntary, federally administered, consumer-financed long term care insurance plan that provides those who participate with cash to help pay for assistance.  The insurance plan will be open to all American who are “actively at work,” age 18 and older, and not living in a nursing home or other institution.  As with many other benefits, premiums will be deducted through payroll, and individuals may opt out if they choose not to participate.

Benefits from the plan are not limited by where the person lives, so they can be used to pay for assistance and care while living at home or in an assisted living or residential care community or other setting.  This could impact the industry in many ways.  It is possible it could lead to some individuals delaying a move to assisted living as they may be able to afford care in their home.  On the other hand, it could also improve access to assisted living and residential care by creating a funding option not currently available.

Although final implementation of the CLASS Act is not likely to begin until 2013, it is prudent for providers to begin analyzing and planning for how this may impact your services.  Below are links to several websites with more information about the CLASS Act.

More info:

AARP Guide to Health Care Reform

AARP CLASS ACT Q&A

AAHSA CLASS Act Summary

2 Responses to “The Class Act”

  1. Thanks for the information on the Class Act. Although it’s very early but does anyone anticipate there will be “strings” attached for RCFEs receiving money through this program (like Medi-cal)? Or would it be like someone receiving social security? Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. As I understand it this would be more similar to how social security works. The money would be paid to the individual who would then use that to pay for care/services. With that said, many of the details of the program are not fully ironed out, so we will definitely stay tuned to see how it develops.

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